chapter  29
Acceptability and Intelligibility of Moderately Dysarthric Speech by Four Types of Listeners
WithPaul A. Dagenais, Amy F. Wilson
Pages 10

When communication breakdowns occur, there may be problems of competency that involve the speaker, the listener or both. Traditionally, when the speaker has a motor speech disorder, it is the speaker who is considered the sole source of the communication difficulty. This is the premise behind the development of assessment procedures such as the word and sentence intelligibility measures of the Assessment of Intelligibility of Dysarthric Speech (AIDS; Yorkston & Beukelman, 1981) and phonetic intelligibility testing (Kent, Weismer, Kent, & Rosenbek, 1989). Changes in impaired speaker performance usually are cited as the major influence in communicative success. For example, reducing a speaker’s rate has been reported as being the single most powerful variable for increasing the intelligibility of dysarthric speech (Yorkston, Dowden, & Beukelman, 1992). Duffy (1995) stated that reducing speech rate improves speaker intelligibility by allowing more time for articulatory precision (a full range of motion) and coordination as well as improved linguistic phrasing. However, the communicative success of an interaction may not depend just on the speaker, but also on the listener. Different listening strategies may be needed depending on a speaker’s abilities (Lindblom, 1990; Weismer & Martin, 1992).